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Living France - - Contents -

Your views of life in France

France is not the so­lu­tion. It is a mag­ni­fy­ing glass that ex­poses the cracks in our lives; our in­se­cu­ri­ties, our short­com­ings, our un­re­solved is­sues. De­spite its rugged beauty swathed in colour and un­pol­luted light, de­spite its sim­plis­tic out­look in a world gone mad, de­spite its quaint charm of another era, so dif­fer­ent from that which we left be­hind, France is not the so­lu­tion.

On days when our in­ner sun shines, France’s swathes of pas­ture­land and vi­brant forests are a re­minder we live in an un­spoilt coun­try. The houses bask in hues of gold, wel­com­ing us in with a warm smile. The un­hur­ried pace of life al­lows us to breathe. And the vast, un­tainted sky is the only limit to our imag­i­na­tion.

But on our dark­est days, the forests are a som­bre bar­ri­cade, the thick stone walls iso­late us fur­ther, and that seden­tary tempo the French so en­joy twists cru­elly against our own cul­ture. The sky re­minds us of how in­signif­i­cant we are, how mute and marginalised we have be­come in a coun­try with its own im­pen­e­tra­ble lan­guage. And we won­der why we came.

We look at France er­ro­neously from our own per­spec­tive, our own mood. France is a coun­try, a peo­ple, not a so­lu­tion. We are the eye of our own prob­lems, so how can France be the an­swer?

There are those who flee, hor­ri­fied by their mis­taken dream of life in France. Sadly, there are those who stay, but lie, to their new ‘friends’, worst of all, to them­selves. They live in de­nial and rein­vent, not pre­pared to shed their one­up­man­ship cul­ture, not ready to be one of a mil­lion rather than one in a mil­lion.

But thank­fully, there are those who adapt to life in France, em­brac­ing, in­te­grat­ing, step­ping onto a learn­ing curve, grace­fully ac­cept­ing their own hum­ble­ness. They are the ones who un­der­stand. France is not the so­lu­tion; it is a chance to grow, evolve and quite sim­ply be.

Look into the eye of the prob­lem to find the so­lu­tion, be­cause France is not the an­swer, it is just part of this mag­nif­i­cent jour­ney we call life. Kati Barr-Tay­lor Dor­dogne

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